This one is for Jerry T.
Owen O’Neill is making his Celtic Clash 10 bout, which plays out at the Devenish Complex tonight, as much about Jerry Thompson as about himself.
The new to the game light middleweight is dedicating his fourth clash to the late former Irish League footballer.
Thompson unfortunately passed in early December and his death hit a host around the city of Belfast and beyond hard.
O’Neill was one particularly effected, he had developed a close bond with the 24-year-old who played for Carrick Rangers in the Irish Premiership.
Indeed, Thompson was a regular at his fights and one of his loudest supporters.
“I’ll be dedicating it to my bro Jerry T,” the well supported fighter told Irish-boxing.com.
“My first fight in the Devenish, Stephen Sharpe took a video of my ringwalk and all you could see was Jerry going mad at the front beside the ring jumping and clapping! He was louder than my ring walk music.
“He was a great guy, me and him and our two girlfriends went on holiday together couple years ago, what a time that was, up going to bars in the sun watching the footy then up signing karaoke together. They are unreal memories and ones I’ll keep forever.
“He was mad I’ve also a few stories that I’ll just keep to myself instead of sharing! His family will be there also hopefully they enjoy the fight. My ringwalk will be one of his favourite rave tunes so the crowd will go mad hopefully.”
Tonight represents O’Neill’s first fight with former Irish champion Dee Walsh as his coach.
Walsh has teamed up with Daniel Anderson and is working with some of the Glean fighters. It’s quite possible the young coach could be at the Ulster Hall as Lewis Crocker and Ruari Dalton have fights on the #MTKFightNight, but O’Neill claims he has had an influence in camp.
“I have worked on a lot of things with Dee, things I honestly thought I’d have no chance of doing. I’m learning every day with him. Wee are going to get in get the win for this fight then continue to work on the new things. The main focus is not to get hit as much when I’m attacking and I’m starting to see it pay off in sparring so hopefully fight night people can see my improvements.”